Berlocq gives Argentina 1-0 lead against Italy

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Argentina's Carlos Berlocq returns the ball to Italy's Andreas Seppi during their Davis Cup singles tennis match in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Eduardo Di Baia)

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AP) — Carlos Berlocq defeated Andreas Seppi of Italy to give Argentina a 1-0 lead in their first-round Davis Cup tie in the World Group on Friday.

Berlocq recovered after dropping the first set, winning 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 on the outdoor clay surface.

Juan Monaco had a chance to give Argentina a 2-0 lead when he faced Fabio Fognini in the day's second match. Doubles are set for Saturday in the best-of-five series.

"I felt like you have to feel in a Davis Cup match — with determination and dedication," Berlocq said. "When I was on the court and fans screamed 'gladiator,' it gave me a lift."

Argentina is a four-time runner-up in the Davis Cup and has yet to win tennis' top team event. Italy has won once.

The winner faces the winner of the series between Britain and the United States.